Cal/OSHA Produces Fact Sheet, Poster for Preventing Work-Related Injuries to Housekeeping Workers

Oakland—Cal/OSHA has produced a fact sheet and poster to help employers in the hotel and lodging industry comply with a new regulation to prevent work-related injuries suffered by housekeeping workers. The Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention regulation went into effect July 1 and requires employers to complete an initial worksite evaluation by October 1 to identify and address housekeeping worker hazards.

The Safety and Health Fact Sheet provides an overview of the workplace health and Preventing Musculoskeletal Injuries in Housekeepers postersafety requirements that reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders common among housekeepers. Employers are also encouraged to post the Preventing Musculoskeletal Injuries in Housekeepers poster in a place accessible to all housekeeping workers. The poster includes information on the causes of musculoskeletal injuries, the employer’s responsibility to have an effective program to control the risk of musculoskeletal injuries, and employees’ rights.

“We created these guidance materials to help workers know their rights and employers their responsibilities to comply with this standard,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “In addition, Cal/OSHA Consultation Services are available to assist employers and employees who have questions or need more information.”

The employer’s housekeeping safety program must include the following:

  • Procedures to identify and evaluate housekeeping hazards through worksite evaluations
  • Procedures to investigate musculoskeletal injuries to housekeepers
  • Methods to correct identified hazards
  • Employee and supervisor training on safe work practices and on the process for early reporting of injuries to the employer
  • Procedures to involve employees and their union representative in worksite evaluations, injury investigations, and evaluation of corrective measures

A musculoskeletal injury is caused by a single traumatic event, such as slip, trip or fall, or by repeated exposure over weeks, months or years to repetitive motion, force, vibration or awkward positions caused by daily tasks such as lifting heavy furniture and equipment, pulling linens and pushing carts.

In 2012, hotel worker representatives presented a petition to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board requesting a new standard to control the hazards faced by hotel housekeepers. Cal/OSHA convened public advisory meetings over a three-year period to gather information, and determined that existing regulations did not adequately address the hazards faced by housekeepers. Dozens of workers spoke at the meetings, sharing their experiences and discussing how their injuries impacted their lives at work and at home.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, is the division within the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) that helps protect California’s workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace.

Hotel and lodging industry employers are encouraged to contact Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch for free on-site or telephone consultations. Consultation Services assist employers in developing and maintaining workplace safety and health programs pursuant to Cal/OSHA’s regulations. Employers and employees can call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.

 

 

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY DIR

Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Illness as Temperatures Rise Statewide

AIO Heat Stress 2018 (WordPress blog)

Our California Outdoor Heat Illness Prevention Poster is on sale for the entire Summer of 2018 saving you 15% of our already low prices. Take advantage of this offer now by using coupon code HEAT2018 upon checkout.

Cal/OSHA is reminding all employers to protect their outdoor workers from heat illness and to encourage their workers to take preventative cool-down breaks in the shade as temperatures rise throughout California. The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for forecasts of triple-digit temperatures through the weekend, starting Thursday, June 21st, in Southern California and beginning Friday in central and northern counties. Summer has officially begun.

“During heat waves, employers must closely observe their employees for signs and symptoms of heat illness,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “As always, workers should be encouraged to drink water frequently and take preventative cool-down rest breaks in the shade when they feel the need to do so.”

To help employers comply with the state’s Heat Illness Prevention Regulation, All In One Poster Company has designed a comprehensive poster to supplement the Cal/OSHA standard training requirement and the employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), and to serve as a quick reference guide. Remember that displaying posters is a sign of your commitment to safety.

CAHeatStress2015

This poster contains the following information:

  • Steps to Preventing Heat Stress according to Cal/OSHA
  • Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
  • Symptoms of Heat Stroke
  • What to do for Heat-Related Illness

California’s heat illness prevention regulation requires employers with outdoor workers to take the following four steps to prevent heat illness:

  • Plan – Develop and implement an effective written heat illness prevention plan that includes emergency response procedures.
  • Training – Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
  • Water – Provide drinking water that is fresh, pure, suitably cool and free of charge so that each worker can drink at least 1 quart per hour, and encourage workers to do so.
  • Shade – Provide shade when workers request it and when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. Encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.

Cal/OSHA urges workers experiencing possible overheating to take a preventative cool-down rest in the shade until symptoms are gone. Workers who have existing health problems or medical conditions that reduce tolerance to heat, such as diabetes, need to be extra vigilant. Some high blood pressure and anti-inflammatory medications can also increase a worker’s risk for heat illness.

In addition to the other requirements outlined in California’s heat illness prevention regulation, it is crucial that supervisors are effectively trained on emergency procedures in case a worker does get sick. This helps ensure sick employees receive treatment immediately and that the symptoms do not develop into a serious illness or death.

Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention special emphasis program, the first of its kind in the nation, includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as multilingual outreach and training programs for California’s employers and workers. Online information on heat illness prevention requirements and training materials are available on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention web page and the Water. Rest. Shade. campaign site. A Heat Illness Prevention e-tool is also available on Cal/OSHA’s website.

For indoor workers in California, All In One Posters has also put together a California Indoor Heat Stress Poster seen below. This poster was created in response to a bill that was signed by Governor Brown in which section 6720 was added to SB 1167 to add protection for indoor workers against indoor heat.

All in One Posters - California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Working Environments

On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.

OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.

All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this problem. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action.

New Hampshire Law Prohibits Retaliation Based on Flexible Work Schedule Requests

Law Effective September 1, 2016

Under a new law in New Hampshire, an employer may not retaliate against an employee solely because he or she requests a flexible work schedule.

The law does not require an employer to accommodate a flexible work schedule, nor does it create a cause of action for failure to provide a flexible work schedule at an employee’s request.

Note: Employers may have related obligations under other federal, state, and/or local laws, such as the reasonable accommodation requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act or the leave requirements of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

The new law is effective September 1, 2016. Click here to read the text of the law.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

Illinois Enacts Child Bereavement Leave Act

Law Applicable to Certain Large Employers

A new law in Illinois allows certain employees to take child bereavement leave. Highlights of the law are presented below.

Coverage
The law covers (among other entities) employers with 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year.

Employees are generally covered if they:

  • Work for a covered employer;
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave;
  • Work at a location where the employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles; and
  • Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months (not required to be consecutive).

State Bereavement Leave
Covered employees are entitled to use a maximum of 2 weeks (10 work days) of unpaid bereavement leave to:

  • Attend the funeral (or alternative to a funeral) of a child;
  • Make arrangements necessitated by the child’s death; or
  • Grieve the child’s death.

Bereavement leave under the provisions above must be completed within 60 days after the date on which the employee receives notice of the child’s death.

Note: “Child” means an employee’s son or daughter who is a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis.

Notice
An employee must provide the employer with at least 48 hours’ advance notice of the employee’s intention to take bereavement leave, unless providing such notice is not reasonable and practicable.

The law is effective as of July 29, 2016. The text of the law features additional provisions affecting employers and employees.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

Rhode Island Law Prohibits Certain Wage Deductions Without Employee Approval

Approval May Be Written or Electronic

Under a new law in Rhode Island, an employer may not deduct or withhold any monies not authorized by federal or state law or by court order from an employee’s wages, without first getting written or electronic approval from the employee.

Permissible Deductions
State law permits employers to make certain deductions from employee wages, including (among other things):

  • Trade union or craft dues or other obligations imposed by a collective bargaining contract;
  • Contributions to a pension plan in which the employee is a participant not required by a collective bargaining agreement entered into between the authorized collective bargaining representative of an employee and his or her employer;
  • Contributions to or for insurance or under an insurance plan for accident, health, or life coverage not required by a collective bargaining agreement entered into between the authorized collective bargaining representative of an employee and his or her employer; or
  • Amounts to be credited to a share, deposit, or loan account in any credit union.

The deductions listed above must be made in accordance with awritten request by the individual employee (see § 28-14-10).

Note: Guidance regarding certain deductions from wages under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is also available, along with specific guidance on exempt employees. Remember that when state laws differ from the federal FLSA, an employer must comply with the standard most protective to employees (that is, the one that provides the greater benefit to employees).

New Law
Under the new law, an employer may not deduct or withhold any monies not authorized by federal or state law or by court order from an employee’s wages, without first getting written or electronic approval from the employee.

The law is effective as of July 20, 2016. Click here to read the text of the law.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

Louisiana: Hotels Required to Display Human Trafficking Poster

Louisiana: Hotels Required to Display Human Trafficking Poster

Law Effective as of August 1, 2016

Under a new law in Louisiana, effective August 1, 2016, each hotel must post information regarding the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline in the same location where other employee notices required by state or federal law are posted.

Background 
All of the following establishments are also required to post information regarding the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline:

New Law 

  • Each hotel mustpost the information in the same location where other employee notices required by state or federal law are posted.
    • “Hotel” means and includes any establishment (both public and private) engaged in the business of furnishing or providing rooms and overnight camping facilities intended or designed for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes to transient guests.
      • Note: The new law doesnot encompass any hospital, convalescent or nursing home or sanitarium, or any hotel-like facility operated by or in connection with a hospital or medical clinic providing rooms exclusively for patients and their families, nor does it include bed and breakfasts (lodging facility having no more than ten guest rooms where transient guests are fed and lodged for pay) or certain other facilities.
    • Such posting must be no smaller than 8 and 1/2 inches X 11 inches and must contain the following wording in bold typed print of not less than 14-point font: “If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work, or any other activity, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to access help and services.”

Click here to download the poster. Additional requirements are listed in the text of the law.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

Rhode Island: Mandated Short Term Disability Rates Increase

Weekly Maximum and Minimum Benefit Rates Increase

Rhode Island has announced that its weekly maximum and minimum short term disability rates have increased.

Background
Rhode Island’s temporary disability insurance program provides income support to individuals who are out of work because of a non-work related illness or injury. To be eligible, an individual must meet certain earnings requirements and be medically certified by a qualified health care provider as unable to work.

An individual’s weekly benefit rate will be equal to 4.62% of the wages paid in the highest quarter of his or her base period.

Updated Rates
For claims with a “Benefit Year Begin Date” of July 3, 2016 or later,$89.00 is the minimum benefit rate and $817.00 is the maximum benefit rate. This does not include dependency allowance. The weekly benefit rate remains the same throughout the entire benefit year.

Click here for more information on Rhode Island’s temporary disability program.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

DOL Revises Federal Minimum Wage and Employee Polygraph Workplace Posters

2016 Federal Banner for Blog
Revised Posters Must Be Posted as of August 1, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recently updated its Fair Labor Standards Act and Employee Polygraph Protection Act posters. The new versions are now included in our State & Federal Combination Posters, as well as various versions of our Federal All-In-One Posters.

Background
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to at least the federal minimum wage, and overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.

Note: Employers may also have certain obligations under state and/or local laws, including minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. When both the FLSA and a state law apply, the employee is entitled to the most favorable provisions of each law.

The federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment. Employers generally may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, or discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee or job applicant for refusing to take a test.

Revised Posters
Every employer of employees subject to the FLSA’s minimum wage provisions must post (and keep posted) a notice explaining the law in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments so as to permit employees to readily read it.

Additionally, every employer subject to the EPPA must post (and keep posted) on its premises a notice explaining the law. The notice must be posted in a prominent and conspicuous place in every establishment of the employer where it can readily be observed by employees and applicants for employment.

As of August 1, 2016, employers must post these revised versions. All In One Poster Company has revised all posters containing these notices as of July 29, 2016.

DOL Issues Guidance for Private Employers on Final Overtime Rule

Guidance Provides Options for Compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released guidance on its final overtime rule to help private sector employers evaluate current practices and transition to the rule’s requirements.

Background
The DOL’s final rule, effective December 1, 2016, updates the regulations governing which executive, administrative, and professional employees (“white collar” workers) are entitled to the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levelsneeded for such workers to be exempt. In particular, the final rule:

  • Raises the salary threshold from $455 a week to $913 per week (or$47,476 annually) for a full-year worker;
  • Sets the highly-compensated employee (HCE) total annual compensation level equal to $134,004 annually;
  • Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every 3 years, beginning on January 1, 2020; and
  • Amends the regulations to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses, incentives, and commissions to satisfy up to 10% of the new standard salary level, so long asemployers pay those amounts on a quarterly or more frequent basis.

Note: When both the FLSA and a state law apply, the employee is entitled to the most favorable provisions of each law.

New Guidance
Among other things, the DOL’s guidance details some of the options employers may exercise in determining how to comply with the final rule. Employers have certain options for responding to the changes to the salary level, and the DOL does not dictate or recommend any method. Such options include:

  • Providing pay raises that increase workers’ salaries to the new threshold;
  • Spreading employment by reducing or eliminating work hours of individual employees working over 40 hours per week for which no overtime is being paid; or
  • Paying overtime.

Note: The rule does not require employers to convert a salaried worker making less than the new salary threshold to hourly status; employers can pay non-exempt employees on a salary basis and pay overtime for hours worked beyond 40 in a week.

Click here to read the guidance. Additional information on the final rule, including fact sheets and Q&As, is available on the DOL’s final rule webpage.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

Penalties Increase for Employers Violating Certain Federal Labor Laws

pay_or_play_penalty_and_ppacaEmployers that do not comply with certain requirements under a number of federal labor laws will face increased fines beginning with civil penalties assessed after August 1, 2016 (whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015).

Key Penalty Increases
Penalty increases announced by the U.S. Department of Labor that may be of particular interest include:

  • Repeated or willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage or overtime pay requirements will be subject to a penalty of up to $1,894 per violation (formerly $1,100);
  • Willful violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) posting requirement will be subject to a penalty not to exceed $163 for each separate offense (formerly $110) (note: covered employers must post this general notice even if no employees are eligible for FMLA leave);
  • Failure to provide employees with a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) notice will be subject to a penalty of up to $110 per day per violation (formerly $100);
  • Failure to provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) will be subject to a penalty of up to $1,087 per failure (formerly $1,000);
  • Failure or refusal to file a Form 5500 will be subject to a penalty of up to $2,063 per day (formerly $1,100); and
  • Violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s posting requirement will be subject to a maximum penalty of $12,471 for each violation (formerly $7,000).

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.